Credit card fraud refers to the unauthorized use of another individual's credit card or credit card information. Any individual that knowingly uses a credit card without permission or attempts to defraud any person by using credit card information is guilty of criminal acts under North Carolina laws. The penalties for committing credit card fraud are severe.
Financial Transaction Card
Under North Carolina's Financial Transaction Card Crime Act, a financial transaction card describes instruments or devices such as a credit card, credit plate, bank services card, banking card, check guarantee card, debit card or other devices with or without a fee by an issuer for use by the cardholder. A financial transaction card allows the cardholder to obtain money, goods, services or any other item of value on a credit basis.
The Financial Transaction Card Crime Act states that a person is guilty of financial transaction card theft when a person takes, obtains or withholds a financial transaction card from the cardholder without the cardholder's consent and with the intent to use it. This also applies to any action to sell or transfer the card to another person. If the value of money, goods or services obtained through use of a credit card by a credit card thief exceeds $500, he may be guilty of a Class 1 felony. If the value is below $500, he may be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and punished by jail time greater than 30 days but not to exceed six months. The credit card thief also may be responsible for fines or financial restitution.
A person who falsely makes, embosses, duplicates, alters, encodes or signs a financial transaction card with the intent to defraud is guilty of forgery in North Carolina. Any person who has possession or control of financial transaction cards in the name of two or more unrelated persons also may be guilty of credit card forgery. Credit card forgery is a Class I felony and punishable by fines and jail time in excess of six months. Any devices used to commit credit card forgery must be surrendered to state authorities.
Criminal factoring refers to the use of merchants or their employees and agents to process credit card payments without a cardholder's consent. This action is a Class 1 felony in North Carolina. Any person who attempts to solicit or employ such activity is also guilty of criminal factoring. Merchants who knowingly engage in factoring are held financially liable and can face criminal prosecution.